To evaluate long-term efficacy and safety of melanocyte-keratinocyte cell transplantation in the management of segmental and focal vitiligo.
A simpler and modified method based on that of Olsson and Juhlin was performed. This method uses a shaved biopsy skin sample up to one tenth the size of the recipient area. The skin sample is incubated, and the cells are mechanically separated using trypsin-EDTA solution and then centrifuged to prepare a suspension. Cell suspension is then applied to the dermabraded depigmented skin area, and a collagen dressing is applied to keep it in place.
Fifty patients with segmental and 17 with focal vitiligo were treated. One patient with segmental and 2 with focal vitiligo did not attend any follow-up visits. The remaining patients were observed for a period of up to 5 years.
Autologous, noncultured melanocyte-keratinocyte cell transplantation.
Main Outcome Measure
Repigmentation was graded as excellent with 95% to 100% pigmentation, good with 65% to 94%, fair with 25% to 64%, and poor with 0% to 24% of the treated area.
In the segmental vitiligo group, 41 patients (84%) showed excellent, 3 (6%) good, and 5 (10%) poor pigmentation, which was retained until the end of the respective follow-up period. In the focal vitiligo group, 11 patients (73%) showed excellent, 1 (7%) fair, and 3 (20%) poor pigmentation, which was retained until the end of the respective follow-up period.
Melanocyte-keratinocyte cell transplantation is a simple, safe, and effective surgical therapy. Patients with segmental and focal vitiligo can experience a prolonged disease-free period, which may extend through the rest of their lives.